- Aspendawn Books
- Release Date
- February 2014
- Book 1 of The Dare River Series
When famous—and infamous—country singer Rye Crenshaw saunters into the diner where she cooks, Tory Simmons is certain she's got him pegged. He's a bad boy who indulges himself in all things, women included. But while she couldn't care less about country music or arrogant men, Rye makes her an offer she can't refuse when he asks her to be his private chef on his multi-city concert tour. The job is the answer to all her prayers: it will clear out her debt and finance the fresh start she desperately needs.
Rye is certain his sassy new cook is the last woman who'd ever tempt him, but spending time with the wholesome girl next door will do wonders for his damaged public image, whether she likes being forced into the spotlight or not. Her food also happens to be the best he's ever eaten, both comforting and seductive. But spending time with Tory on the road shows him a new side to her—one that's as impossible to resist as her food. And when an emergency in his family whisks him home, he does the one thing he's never risked: he lets a woman into his heart…
Soon the emotions Rye faked for the tabloids become all too real, but will the country heaven he's found in Tory's arms survive in the real world?
Aug 13, 2014
82 people found the following review helpful
If ever there was a contemporary romance that rated a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5 for me, this one is it!
Bad boy country star Rye Crenshaw hides the pain of a repressive and stifling upbringing behind the rebellious country star image that his manager created for him. He revels in living up to his acquired reputation in order to spite the family that coldly disowned him for breaking with long-held traditions. Only his youngest sister Amelia Ann has the courage to defy the family's dictates and keep in touch with him, but a threat his mother makes regarding Rye's intent to attend Amelia Ann's college graduation causes Rye to publicly unleash his misdirected anger while he's at children's charity event.
With his professional image and career now damaged by tabloid speculation that's resulted in the loss of a big corporate sponsor for his new tour, Rye, a deeply private man, is further faced with new demons of adversity. Not knowing how to redeem a bad boy reputation that's at an all-time low, without distancing his remaining loyal fans, Rye can only find true solace in two things; immersing himself in his songwriting and music and seeking out the passing pleasure of real comfort food.
Having recently lost her grandfather, doctoral anthropology student and diner cook Tory Simmons is alone in the world. She's struggling to pay tuition, the mortgage on her grandfather's house, and the medical bills relating to the care her grandfather received before his passing. When country star Rye Crenshaw arrives at Diner Heaven wanting a meal just minutes before the diner's midnight closing, Tory refuses. But Rye's offer to pay her one thousand dollars to prepare him a comfort food meal grudgingly leaves her no way to turn down such a windfall, no matter how tired she is after a long day of cooking at the diner.
Tory's cooking is like a slice of heaven to Rye, who astounds Tory with a job offer to cook for him on his tour bus. The pay he's offering will provide a much needed financial lifeline for the next few months if she can bear working for such a cocky man, so Tory accepts despite her reservations. But, Rye and his management team have been looking for a way to generate good PR to repair his image and revealing he's hired Tory, a woman undergoing private financial struggles, is an orchestrated PR stunt that almost sends Tory packing before she's even gotten settled on the tour bus.
Settling their initial differences over comfort food and daily routine aboard Rye's tour bus, the country crooner and the comfort food goddess begin a tenuous friendship that seems like it could lead to something more. But, when Rye's father suffers a heart attack and asks his son to come home to Mississippi, Rye's world suddenly tips on its axis and only Tory's presence helps him deflect the pain of re-opening old family wounds.
In Mississippi, neither Rye nor Tory expected to witness Rye's entire family splintering under the weight of long held traditions and expectations. And, only gentle, caring Tory seems to know how to apply the balm to begin making Rye's family whole again. Yet, as Rye and Tory grow closer, intimate details about Rye's family skeletons leak to the press and shatter tenuous new beginnings for them all.
With a plot that will have her readers entranced and entangled in a gamut of emotions, Ava Miles tells the story of a woman with an uncertain future and a man struggling with a present he can't reconcile with his past. Set against the backdrop of the country music scene, and featuring a troubled Southern family struggling with deeply ingrained gender roles and traditions, the poignant romance between Rye and Tory develops at a compelling and satisfying pace that keeps the pages turning as the subtle layers of drama unfold.
Using multiple character points-of-view to reveal and redeem the motives of primary and secondary characters, this multi-faceted story ends with a thread of a cliffhanger unrevealed. Ava Miles is certain to have her devoted fans anxious to pick up the thread in pursuit of a well-deserved happy ending for Rye's sister Tammy in Dare River Series Book 2: THE CHOCOLATE GARDEN coming in summer 2014. As for me, I can't wait!
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